Nutrient Requirements of Sheep

Introduction

The following tables were adapted from National Research Council, Nutrient Requirements of Sheep (1985) and list the nutrient requirements of different classes of sheep. Select your class of sheep (Mature Ewes, Ewe Lambs and Ram Lambs, or Growing and Finishing Lambs), the sheep weight, stage of gestation or lactation or replacement sheep, and rate of gain desired. Then read across the rows to find the amount or percentage of each nutrient listed. Use the nutrient requirements to compare to the nutrient contents of your hay and grain. Balance rations using appropriate amounts of each feed so that nutrient requirements are met. See Sheep and Goat Ration Balancing for details.

Mature Ewes

Table 1. Daily nutrient requirements (amounts and percentages in diet dry matter) of mature ewes
Weight (lb) Wt Change (lb/day) DM Intake (lb) DM Intake (%BW) TDN (lb) TDN (%) Protein (lb) Protein (%) Ca (g) P (g) Vitamin A (IU) Vitamin E (IU)
Maintenance 110 0.02 2.2 2.00% 1.2 54.55% 0.21 9.55% 2 1.8 2,350 15
132 0.02 2.4 1.82% 1.3 54.17% 0.23 9.58% 2.3 2.1 2,820 16
154 0.02 2.6 1.69% 1.5 57.69% 0.25 9.62% 2.5 2.4 3,290 18
176 0.02 2.9 1.65% 1.6 55.17% 0.27 9.31% 2.7 2.8 3,760 20
198 0.02 3.1 1.57% 1.7 54.84% 0.29 9.35% 2.9 3.1 4,230 21
Flushing - 2 Weeks prebreeding and first 3 weeks of breeding 110 0.22 3.5 3.18% 2.1 60.00% 0.33 9.43% 5.3 2.6 2,350 24
132 0.22 3.7 2.80% 2.2 59.46% 0.34 9.19% 5.5 2.9 2,820 26
154 0.22 4 2.60% 2.3 57.50% 0.36 9.00% 5.7 3.2 3,290 27
176 0.22 4.2 2.39% 2.5 59.52% 0.38 9.05% 5.9 3.6 3,760 28
198 0.22 4.4 2.22% 2.6 59.09% 0.39 8.86% 6.1 3.9 4,230 30
Nonlactating - First 15 weeks gestation 110 0.07 2.6 2.36% 1.5 57.69% 0.25 9.62% 2.9 2.1 2,350 18
132 0.07 2.9 2.20% 1.6 55.17% 0.27 9.31% 3.2 2.5 2,820 20
154 0.07 3.1 2.01% 1.7 54.84% 0.29 9.35% 3.5 2.9 3,290 21
176 0.07 3.3 1.88% 1.8 54.55% 0.31 9.39% 3.8 3.3 3,760 22
198 0.07 3.5 1.77% 1.9 54.29% 0.33 9.43% 4.1 3.6 4,230 24
Last 4 weeks gestation (130-150% lambing rate expected) or last 4-6 weeks lactation suckling singles 110 0.40 (0.10) 3.5 3.18% 2.1 60.00% 0.38 10.86% 5.9 4.8 4,250 24
132 0.40 (0.10) 3.7 2.80% 2.2 59.46% 0.4 10.81% 6 5.2 5,100 26
154 0.40 (0.10) 4 2.60% 2.3 57.50% 0.42 10.50% 6.2 5.6 5,950 27
176 0.40 (0.10) 4.2 2.39% 2.4 57.14% 0.44 10.48% 6.3 6.1 6,800 28
198 0.40 (0.10) 4.4 2.22% 2.5 56.82% 0.47 10.68% 6.4 6.5 7,650 30
Last 4 weeks gestation (180-225% lambing rate expected) 110 0.5 3.7 3.36% 2.4 64.86% 0.43 11.62% 6.2 3.4 4,250 26
132 0.5 4 3.03% 2.6 65.00% 0.45 11.25% 6.9 4 5,100 27
154 0.5 4.2 2.73% 2.8 66.67% 0.47 11.19% 7.6 4.5 5,950 28
176 0.5 4.4 2.50% 2.9 65.91% 0.49 11.14% 8.3 5.1 6,800 30
198 0.5 4.6 2.32% 3 65.22% 0.51 11.09% 8.9 5.7 7,650 32
First 6-8 weeks lactation suckling singles or last 4-6 weeks lactation suckling twins 110 -0.06 4.6 4.18% 3 65.22% 0.67 14.57% 8.9 6.1 4,250 32
132 -0.06 5.1 3.86% 3.3 64.71% 0.7 13.73% 9.1 6.6 5,100 34
154 -0.06 5.5 3.57% 3.6 65.45% 0.73 13.27% 9.3 7 5,950 38
176 -0.06 5.7 3.24% 3.7 64.91% 0.76 13.33% 9.5 7.4 6,800 39
198 -0.06 5.9 2.98% 3.8 64.41% 0.78 13.22% 9.6 7.8 7,650 40
First 6-8 weeks lactation suckling twins 110 -0.13 5.3 4.82% 3.4 64.15% 0.86 16.23% 10.5 7.3 5,000 36
132 -0.13 5.7 4.32% 3.7 64.91% 0.89 15.61% 10.7 7.7 6,000 39
154 -0.13 6.2 4.03% 4 64.52% 0.92 14.84% 11 8.1 7,000 42
176 -0.13 6.6 3.75% 4.3 65.15% 0.96 14.55% 11.2 8.6 8,000 45
198 -0.13 7 3.54% 4.6 65.71% 0.99 14.14% 11.4 9 9,000 48

Ewe Lambs and Ram Lambs

Table 2. Daily nutrient requirements (amounts and percentages in diet dry matter) of ewe lambs and ram lambs
Weight (lb) Wt Change (lb/day) DM Intake (lb) DM Intake (%BW) TDN (lb) TDN (%) Protein (lb) Protein (%) Ca (g) P (g) Vitamin A (IU) Vitamin E (IU)
Nonlactating - First 15 weeks gestation 88 0.35 3.1 3.52% 1.8 58.06% 0.34 10.97% 5.5 3 1,880 21
110 0.3 3.3 3.00% 1.9 57.58% 0.35 10.61% 5.2 3.1 2,350 22
132 0.3 3.5 2.65% 2 57.14% 0.35 10.00% 5.5 3.4 2,820 24
154 0.28 3.7 2.40% 2.2 59.46% 0.36 9.73% 5.5 3.7 3,290 26
Last 4 weeks gestation (100-120% lambing rate expected) 88 0.4 3.3 3.75% 2.1 63.64% 0.41 12.42% 6.4 3.1 3,400 22
110 0.35 3.5 3.18% 2.2 62.86% 0.42 12.00% 6.3 3.4 4,250 24
132 0.35 3.7 2.80% 2.4 64.86% 0.42 11.35% 6.6 3.8 5,100 26
154 0.33 4 2.60% 2.5 62.50% 0.43 10.75% 6.8 4.2 5,950 27
Last 4 weeks of gestation (130-175% lambing rate expected) 88 0.5 3.3 3.75% 2.2 66.67% 0.44 13.33% 7.4 3.5 3,400 22
110 0.5 3.5 3.18% 2.3 65.71% 0.45 12.86% 7.8 3.9 4,250 24
132 0.5 3.7 2.80% 2.5 67.57% 0.46 12.43% 8.1 4.3 5,100 26
154 0.47 4 2.60% 2.5 62.50 0.46 11.50% 8.2 4.7 5,950 27
First 6-8 weeks lactation suckling singles (wean by 8 weeks) 88 -0.11 3.7 4.20% 2.5 67.57% 0.56 15.14% 6 4.3 3,400 26
110 -0.11 4.6 4.18% 3.1 67.39% 0.62 13.48% 6.5 4.7 4,250 32
132 -0.11 5.1 3.86% 3.4 66.67% 0.65 12.75% 6.8 5.1 5,100 34
154 -0.11 5.5 3.57% 3.6 65.45% 0.68 12.36% 7.1 5.6 5,450 38
First 6-8 weeks lactation suckling twins (wean by 8 weeks) 88 -0.22 4.6 5.23% 3.2 69.57% 0.67 14.57% 8.4 5.6 4,000 32
110 -0.22 5.1 4.64% 3.5 68.63% 0.71 13.92% 8.7 6 5,000 34
132 -0.22 5.5 4.17% 3.8 69.09% 0.74 13.45% 9 6.4 6,000 38
154 -0.22 6 3.90% 4.1 68.33% 0.77 12.83% 9.3 6.9 7,000 40
Replacement ewe lambs 66 0.5 2.6 3.94% 1.7 65.38% 0.41 15.77% 6.4 2.6 1,410 18
88 0.4 3.1 3.52% 2 64.52% 0.39 12.58% 5.9 2.6 1,880 21
110 0.26 3.3 3.00% 1.9 57.58% 0.3 9.09% 4.8 2.4 2,350 22
132 0.22 3.3 2.50% 1.9 57.58% 0.3 9.09% 4.5 2.5 2,820 22
154 0.22 3.3 2.14% 1.9 57.58% 0.29 8.79% 4.6 2.8 3,290 22
Replacement ram lambs 88 0.73 4 4.55% 2.5 62.50% 0.54 13.50% 7.8 3.7 1,880 24
132 0.7 5.3 4.02% 3.4 64.15% 0.58 10.94% 8.4 4.2 2,820 26
176 0.64 6.2 3.52% 3.9 62.90% 0.59 9.52% 8.5 4.6 3,760 28
220 0.55 6.6 3.00% 4.2 63.64% 0.58 8.79% 8.2 4.8 4,700 30

Growing and Finishing Lambs

Table 3. Daily nutrient requirements (amounts and percentages in diet dry matter) of growing and finishing lambs
Weight (lb) Wt Change (lb/day) DM Intake (lb) DM Intake (%BW) TDN (lb) TDN (%) Protein (lb) Protein (%) Ca (g) P (g) Vitamin A (IU) Vitamin E (IU)
Lambs finishing 4-7 months old 66 0.65 2.9 4.39% 2.1 72.41% 0.42 14.48 6.6 3.2 1,410 20
88 0.6 3.5 3.98% 2.7 77.14% 0.41 11.71% 6.6 3.3 1,880 24
110 0.45 3.5 3.18% 2.7 77.14% 0.35 10.00% 5.6 3 2,350 24
Early weaned lambs - Moderate growth potential 22 0.44 1.1 5.00% 0.9 81.82% 0.38 34.55% 4 1.9 470 10
44 0.55 2.2 5.00% 1.8 81.82% 0.37 16.82% 5.4 2.5 940 20
66 0.66 2.9 4.39% 2.2 75.86% 0.42 14.48% 6.7 3.2 1,410 20
88 0.76 3.3 3.75% 2.6 78.79% 0.44 13.33% 7.7 3.9 1,880 22
110 0.66 3.3 3.00% 2.6 78.79% 0.4 12.12% 7 3.8 2,350 22
Early weaned lambs - Rapid growth potential 22 0.55 1.3 5.91% 1.1 84.62% 0.35 26.92% 4.9 2.2 470 12
44 0.66 2.6 5.91% 2 76.92% 0.45 17.31% 6.5 2.9 940 24
66 0.72 3.1 4.70% 2.4 77.42% 0.48 15.48% 7.2 3.4 1,410 21
88 0.88 3.3 3.75% 2.5 75.76% 0.51 15.45% 8.6 4.3 1,880 22
110 0.94 3.7 3.36% 2.8 75.68% 0.53 14.32% 9.4 4.8 2,350 25
132 0.77 3.7 2.80% 2.8 75.68% 0.53 14.32% 8.2 4.5 2,820 25

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